True Love In The Lais Of Marie De France

In The Lais of Marie de France, love is a force that moves us completely against our will. Man is united in the fact that, given enough time on this earth, we each eventually succumb to the hazards of love. Whether these pursuits are successful or wretched and unrequited, man is weakened all the same. In this essay I will argue that it was the intention of Marie de France to illustrate the workings of love and as she does so she uncovers that the closest physical thing that can be related back to love is a deadly, untreatable wound. She assigns rules to the workings of love by relaying real life examples of love at work. Based on her criteria she can discern real love from false love. She works to denounce false perceptions of love that spur …show more content…
There can be loved feigned that is willing, but this is not true love. It is power and manipulation exhibited, both a manipulation of self and others, rather than a wound suffered. Love cannot be willed. Love cannot be convinced or swayed. Marie de France looks to relay the lesson that if love is something founded out of convenience, or free will, or leisure then “That is not love, but rather foolishness, wickedness, and debauchery” (Marie de France 49). Marie de France's scolding of the misuse of love reveals the root from which every mistrust in love stems from. Foolishness being man's capability to convince himself that he has felt the wound of love when in reality what he as felt is a mere pinch in comparison to the mortal wound of true love. Foolishness is the immaturity in the active search for true love, which is something only inflicted involuntarily. Wickedness relates to the realization that you are the source of the wound in another and actively adding salt, wishing to intensify the sting, for the purposes of inflating your ego. Someone who is wicked in love has no regard for the feelings of others. Someone inflicted in real love cares little for their own well being and sacrifices greatly for the happiness of the object of their love. Debauchery, lastly, is the soul concern for physical pleasure in the place of love. …show more content…
While it has been established why those who are in active search for love are in reality looking for a false perception of love, it is interesting to note the attitudes toward people who actively attempt to avoid being wounded by love. Guigemar showed indifference toward love, and while this is because he was aware that he had not yet been truly wounded by love, “He showed no visible interest in love and thus was considered a lost cause by friend and stranger alike” (Marie de France 44). This attitude expressed toward Guigemar by his public reveals the necessity of love. Those who conduct themselves as if love is not needed are viewed as leading fruitless and barren existences. There is a disdain towards those we perceive as unwilling to bear weakness for something other than oneself. Love is the ultimate culmination of selfishness and selflessness. We are perusing the ease of a mortal wound that, if not appeased, will either be the carried with us to our end or will be the very cause of our end. At the same time, personal well being falls in priority as we take on struggles that are not our own and did not willingly

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